Ben Leighton

For SA executive vice president

View the Hatchet endorsement hearing.

Clubs/Activities: Chairman of the Student Dining Board, director of dining and retail services for the Marvin Center Governing Board, GW School of Business ambassador

Platform: Student organization collaboration, integrating city and classroom experience and lobbying for student space

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Ben Leighton wants students to know his proven track record of advocacy at GW.

As a two-year member of the Student Dining Board, Leighton was part of the team that brought new options and a fresh look to J Street - the much-maligned dining hub that annually appeared on Student Association platforms.

"I think it is a natural next step for me to begin to advocate for other student issues on a larger scale, and I welcome the challenge," Leighton said.

He credits his organization with extending late night and weekend hours at the dining hall, among other adjustments.

Leighton said his ability to work with University and Sodexo leaders make him stand out as a candidate.

"Advocating is more than just bringing an idea to the administration - it is knowing how to present in a way that will give you greater chances for success, understanding the other side's needs, and being able to work through issues with the administration," Leighton said.

If elected, Leighton said he would push forward the Marvin Center Student Services Center project, which will begin construction this summer. He said he would keep a close eye on the process of selecting entities from across campus to be moved to the space previously occupied by the Hippodrome and WOW Café & Wingery.

As a member of the Marvin Center Governing Board, Leighton said he is familiar with the players and problems in the fight for student space.